Stephenson, J.F., Partridge, J.C., and Whitlock, K.E. (2012) Food and Conspecific Chemical Cues Modify Visual Behavior of Zebrafish, Danio rerio. Zebrafish. 9(2):68-73.
Animals use the different qualities of olfactory and visual sensory information to make decisions. Ethological and electrophysiological evidence suggests that there is cross-modal priming between these sensory systems in fish. We present the first experimental study showing that ecologically relevant chemical mixtures alter visual behavior, using adult male and female zebrafish, Danio rerio. Neutral-density filters were used to attenuate the light reaching the tank to an initial light intensity of 2.3×1016 photons/s/m2. Fish were exposed to food cue and to alarm cue. The light intensity was then increased by the removal of one layer of filter (nominal absorbance 0.3) every minute until, after 10 minutes, the light level was 15.5×1016 photons/s/m2. Adult male and female zebrafish responded to a moving visual stimulus at lower light levels if they had been first exposed to food cue, or to conspecific alarm cue. These results suggest the need for more integrative studies of sensory biology.
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